Nissan Rogue Model Overview
About the Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue holds the entry-level slot in the automaker's lineup of SUVs and crossovers, which also includes the Murano, Xterra, Pathfinder, and Armada. Designed primarily as a daily commuter, the Rogue displays a smooth, sporty exterior design borrowed in part from the Murano, causing some reviewers to dub it the mini-Murano. The target audience for the Rogue includes younger drivers and buyers with small families.
The Rogue debuted for the 2008 model year and came equipped with such features as an independent suspension, stability and traction control, and antilock brakes. In addition, it delivered sporty, car-like handling, good fuel economy, and an upscale cabin with soft-touch surfaces and seating for five. However, the Rogue offers less interior space and fewer features than some of its competitors, such as the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. In addition, unlike most of its competitors, the Rogue comes with only a four-cylinder engine, since Nissan does not offer an available V6. But the Rogue's stand-out-from-the-crowd styling and overall affordability make it worth a close look.
The Rogue received a mid-generation refresh for 2011, which included a new front fascia and grille, new front and rear spoilers, and updated exterior molding and accents. Trims included the S and SV, as well as the sport-oriented S Krom Edition, which received new 18-inch alloy wheels for 2011. In addition, Nissan added a new SV Package for the SL trim, which included leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, a power moonroof, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, among other features.
All Rogues come standard with front-wheel drive (FWD), but buyers can add optional all-wheel drive (AWD) for all trim levels. Power comes from a 170-hp, 2.5-liter four-clinder mated to Nissan's Xtronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). Thanks to engine tweaks, the Rogue's four-cylinder ekes out 1 more mile per gallon for city and highway driving for 2011, posting numbers of 22/28 mpg for FWD trims and 22/26 for AWD trims. The four-cylinder engine provides good low-end torque, reviewers note, but the CVT transmission can sometimes seem erratic in its shifting, according to some testers.
Most reviewers agree the Rogue delivers good value with its affordable pricing and versatile interior. However, they also agree competitors like the Hyundai Tucson, as well as the more expensive RAV4 and CR-V, have more to offer buyers. Some also bemoan the lack of a V6 engine, and find the Rogue underpowered at times. But overall the Rogue remains a good option for buyers seeking an entry-level crossover SUV.
When Nissan unveiled the Rogue at the North American International Auto Show in 2007 for the 2008 model year, the automaker was about a decade late in entering the crossover SUV market segment. Toyota launched its entry, the RAV4, in 1996, and the Honda CR-V followed a year later. The Subaru Forester, another early entry, made its appearance in 1998, and domestic entries like the Ford Escape and Chevy Equinox came along in 2001 and 2005, respectively.
The Rogue managed to create some buzz for itself as it muscled its way into this competitive market segment, however, thanks to its unique European-inspired design, a result of Nissan's alliance with the French automaker Renault. The rounded, athletic styling served as a visual contrast to its competitors.
The Rogue sat on a platform borrowed from the Nissan Sentra compact sedan and came equipped with a four-wheel independent suspension, giving the Rogue its car-like handling and good road manners. Its wheelbase measured 105.9 inches, while overall length checked in at 182.9 inches, making it longer than both the RAV4 and the CR-V. However, the Rogue's unique shape, including its sweptback roofline, resulted in less interior space than some of its smaller competitors, as well as reduced visibility out the back.
Nissan initially offered the Rogue in two trims. The base S trim included air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a 60/40-split rear seat, and a four-speaker audio system, while the SL trim added a height-adjustable driver's seat, roof rails, power exterior mirrors, and 17-inch aluminum wheels, among other features.
The Rogue featured a driver-oriented cockpit, according to the automaker, with optional leather upholstery and a fold-flat front passenger seat. Other options included Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, and a Bose audio system. With the back seat folded down, the Rogue offered 57.9 cubic feet of storage. A number of interior storage spaces, including a partitioned glovebox and a dual-level center console, added to the Rogue's functionality.
The automaker offered its all-new intuitive all-wheel-drive system with yaw control as an option for both trims. Although the system received good reviews, it essentially was designed for use in inclement weather, rather than for serious off-roading.
Power came from a 170-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which managed fuel economy numbers of 22/27 mpg for FWD trims and 21/26 for AWD trims. Antilock brakes, Nissan's Vehicle Dynamic Control system, and six airbags were all standard on the Rogue.
Nissan added the Krom trim to the lineup in 2010. It featured a restyled grille, unique front and rear spoilers with integrated foglights, a sport-tuned exhaust, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The SL trim also received 17-inch wheels for 2010, as well as a trip computer. Options included a 6-CD changer and HID headlights.
For 2010, the Rogue received Consumers Digest's Automotive Best Buy award. In addition, it received five stars in some safety tests, including side-impact crash tests, from the NHTSA for 2010.
Being a fairly new vehicle, the Rogue offers fewer used-car options than some of its competitors, some of which have been around for more than a decade. In addition, the Rogue's resale value remains high, which means there's some demand for the vehicle, particularly for all-wheel-drive trims. There's good news, however, since Nissan offered the Rogue for initial sale at relatively affordable pricing, especially for the base FWD trim, which makes this trim a good option for buyers seeking a used Rogue.
All Rogues come equipped with a long list of safety features, including antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and six airbags, making them good choices for buyers who place a premium on safety. Similarly, buyers who seek a sportier ride should seek out Rogue Krom trims, introduced in 2010. They come equipped with a sport-tuned exhaust, an updated grille, and 17-inch alloy wheels, among other features.
By R. Feeman
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